About ICF

Joanne Potter

Climate Lead, Climate Resilience
Joanne works with decision-makers to build resilient and inclusive communities by integrating climate change into their plans and investment decisions, with over two decades of global experience.

Joanne, master city planner, has worked globally for over two decades to build climate change resilience and sustainability in developing countries and the United States. She brings expertise in climate risk management, urban planning, and infrastructure development in developing countries, taking an integrated, multi-hazard approach to local and regional governments’ challenges. As senior climate advisor to the Nepal Urban Resilience Program, funded by the Department of International Development, Joanne works with the national team to integrate the impacts of COVID-19 on municipalities’ plans for inclusive economic development. Her recent work includes leading a three-year Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) program to incorporate climate resilience into MCC’s global investments. Joanne contributed to the World Bank’s climate risk assessment tools, including developing the road sector module. She is co-author of the recently published work, Ready for Tomorrow: Seven Strategies for Resilient Infrastructure.

Joanne has worked with national policymakers and local decision-makers in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America to address climate risk through more effective use of climate information, improved institutional processes, and engaged stakeholders. Throughout her work, she is committed to a collaborative and inclusive process that builds sustainable capacity. Joanne led the USAID Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services program to reduce the vulnerability of local infrastructure to severe events and long-term climate changes in Mozambique, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. She conducted an assessment of resilience capacity in the eastern and southern Caribbean region for USAID. For the World Bank, Joanne supported the strategic assessment of Dar es Salaam’s transport infrastructure climate resilience and the evaluation of the Resilience in the Limpopo Basin program in southern Africa. Through the USAID Integrated Resource and Resilience Planning Project, she worked with the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency to help local planners identify adaptation strategies and build capacity to address climate risk. She also supported USAID/Dominican Republic in building municipalities’ capacities to integrate climate considerations into land use and development plans.

Joanne has worked with numerous federal agencies and international donors to address the climate resilience of their investments and programs, including USAID, the World Bank, Green Climate Fund, InterAmerican Development Bank, and the Brazilian National Association of Industries.

Joanne was a lead author of the groundbreaking Gulf Coast Study (Phase I) that assessed climate risks to transportation networks in the Gulf Coast region. She supported the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in establishing the DOT Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting and facilitated and authored the Center’s first five-year strategic plan. Joanne has led major national studies addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from mobile sources. Before joining us, she was the project manager for the “U.S. DOT Report to Congress on Transportation's Impact on Climate Change and Solutions,” leading a multimodal technical and policy team to address technology, fuel, and behavioral approaches to mitigating climate change. Joanne was also the project manager and lead author for “Moving Cooler: An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” a national multi-sponsor study assessing the effectiveness of transportation activity strategies to reduce GHG emissions.

  • Master of City Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.A., University of Massachusetts at Amherst